Honoring 2020 Commencement Award Winners

As 2020 draws to a close, we honor the achievements of our 2020 Commencement award winners, who are commended for their excellence in leadership, academics, musicianship, innovation, and more.

Text: Celebrating the Class of 2020, over a composite images of about 30 musicians playing music together via individual video.

We are exceptionally proud of our 2020 graduates, who finished their degrees amid the challenging circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. NEC observed a truncated commencement this past spring, in hopes of gathering for an in-person event in the fall semester. Since an in-person commencement was not possible, we now wish to honor our many esteemed award winners as 2020 draws to a close. 

The 2020 awardees are commended for their excellence in leadership, academics, musicianship, innovation, and more, and will be honored in person during Commencement 2021.

The Tourjée Alumni Scholarship Award

The Tourjée Alumni Scholarship Award towards first-year tuition is given to a graduating student or NEC alum who plans to pursue further graduate work at NEC. The award is based on outstanding musicianship, scholarship, and enterprise.

2020 awardee: Juliette Kaoudji

EM Spark Award

The EM Spark Award invites graduating students to take deliberate steps toward their career goals. Co-sponsored by the President's Office and Alumni Engagement, the award includes a $1,000 stipend and individual project advising and career coaching with the EM Team.

2020 awardees: Lysander Jaffe, Andrew Barnwell, Alexander Fowler

Louis and Adrienne Krasner Teaching Excellence Award

Louis and Adrienne Krasner Teaching Excellence Award commemorates two of the outstanding musicians and teachers of the 20th century, whom we remember with undying admiration and affection for their service to New England Conservatory's College and Schools of Preparatory and Continuing Education.

2020 awardee: Sean Gallagher

George Whitefield Chadwick Medal

George Whitefield Chadwick Medal is awarded each year to the senior whose entire New England Conservatory record of achievement has been the most distinguished in the candidate's major field, supplemental studies, extracurricular activities, and good citizenship. George Whitefield Chadwick was director of NEC from 1897 to 1930.

2020 awardee: Alexander Garde

The Gunther Schuller Medal

The Gunther Schuller Medal is awarded to a graduate student distinguished by having made extraordinary contributions to the life of New England Conservatory. Composer, music historian, and educator Gunther Schuller served as president of NEC from 1967 to 1977.

2020 awardee: Ester Wiesnerova

Donald Martino Award for Excellence in Composition 

The Donald Martino Award for Excellence in Composition was established in his name by family and friends. The award, to be given to outstanding composition students at NEC, commemorates Martino's important achievements as a composer and his impact on students and colleagues at NEC.

2020 awardee: Webin Lyu

Peter Lyman Row Global Musicianship Award

The Peter Lyman Row Global Musicianship Award is a cash prize established by the Row family in honor of sitarist Peter Lyman Row, who served as faculty member, dean, and provost of the Conservatory between 1974 and 2018. The award is approved by the faculty council and is presented at commencement to a degree or diploma student, undergraduate or graduate, who demonstrates excellence in their primary area of study as well as a deep commitment to an in-depth study of a world music tradition.

2020 awardee: Franziska Seehausen